The debate highlighted the virtues of the worker cooperative model as an economic driver, as a creator of employment opportunities, and as a resource for combating the crisis that Italy (and Europe) is undergoing. The half-day session also addressed a number of issues including a comparison between various models of workers cooperatives Europe-wide, the quality of services in metropolitan areas, Smart Cities, and the relationship between cooperatives and the public sector in public tenders.

Referring to the Pope’s recent mention of “fake cooperatives” at Confcooperative’s General Assembly, Roelants spoke about the damage done due to the proliferation of fake worker cooperatives in South America that led CICOPA to create an international code of conduct named the World Declaration on Worker Cooperatives.